V2 Chapter 8 | Disturbed Mind

Thirty minutes after parting with Takayama at the station. I’m waiting for Anri at the station, but she hasn’t come yet.

That’s strange. She was supposed to pass through here, so there was no way we could have crossed paths.

I thought that she might have gone home before me, but somehow I went out of the station and looked for her.

Then I saw Anri sitting alone on a bench.

She put her bag to the side and was staring at the ground.

I was curious, so I walked up to her.

There were several marks on the ground as if water had fallen there.

“Anri, what are you doing here so late? Let’s go home now.”

She looked up and answered with tears on her eyelids, looking as if she was about to burst into tears.

“Tsukasa-kun? I’m sorry, I made you worry. But it’s none of Tsukasa-kun’s business…”

“I see. So, what happened?”

I sat down next to Anri and decided to listen to her story.

I’m sure it had something to do with what we were talking about in the study room.

“It’s nothing. It’s just something I’ve been thinking on my own.”

“Don’t say that. You said it yourself, didn’t you? “I want to share the same things with you.” If Anri is sad, I want to share it with you.”

I gently put my hand on top of Anri’s palm.

I don’t know the details. But it must have been something serious for her to cry alone in a place like this.

“Are you sure? You don’t hate me?

“Don’t worry.”

Anri holds my hand.

Her hand is usually warm, but now it’s cold.

Maybe it’s because Anri’s heart is getting colder.

“Ayane at school was Tsukasa-kun’s childhood friend Ayane. I just showed her the picture and confirmed it, so I’m sure it’s correct. But, Ayane said she doesn’t remember Tsukasa-kun either, at that time, I was overjoyed in my heart. When Ayane said she didn’t remember Tsukasa-kun, I was happy about that.”

Large tears spill from Anri’s eyelids.

Without stopping, they swept down her cheeks, onto her chin, and then to the ground.

“I’m a narrow-minded, terrible woman. I’m glad that her friend has no memories of her childhood and doesn’t remember Tsukasa-kun! I’m a terrible woman!”

Anri held her face with both hands.

How am I supposed to answer her? How should I talk to her?

“Anri, that’s not true. However, since I don’t remember the past, neither I nor Sugimoto-san particularly cares about it, okay?”

“No, I don’t! It’s not that. Ayane and Tsukasa-kun were childhood friends, and I really didn’t think I should be there. But I want to be with Tsukasa-kun. I betrayed Ayane, I betrayed Ayane…”

“That’s not true. Even if something happened between me and Sugimoto-san in the past, it is already in the past. Right now, we are here together, Anri and I, right? Look at the present.”

“But Ayane will surely remember. If I continue to spend the same amount of time with Tsukasa-kun, I’m sure she will remember. What should I do then? Will I lose my place to go home again? I don’t want that…”

Anri’s tears wouldn’t stop. She must have been shocked by the whole thing.

I never dreamed that Sugimoto was the same person.

If I had not heard my mother’s story, I would have never known about it.

But I have no regrets.

I don’t regret what I heard from my mother that day and that night.

And I don’t regret telling Anri how I felt about her in the park.

“If I remember, that time will be the time. But listen to me. Even if Sugimoto remembers, my feelings for you will never change. Don’t worry. Let’s go home now.”

I stood up, took Anri’s hand, and helped her to her feet.

Then, I put her bag on my shoulder and we headed for the ticket gate to go home.

But Anri didn’t move from in front of the bench.

“Look, let’s go home.”

A teary-eyed Anri looks me in the eye.

Her cheeks are covered with tears. Her hair is a little messy.

“I’m anxious. When I think that Tsukasa-kun is going to leave me, I’m very worried…”

I put my bag back on the bench and stand in front of Anri.

Then, I hugged Anri firmly with both hands and patted her gently on the back.

“Don’t worry. I’ll always be by your side. I told you that in the park, didn’t I? So don’t worry.”

In my embrace, Anri nodded her head.

“Please stay by my side all the time…”

It seems that she has calmed down a little.

However, is Anri’s heart a little insecure?

Will she be able to get along with Sugimoto in the future?

Probably it will be all right. After a little more time, things should be back to normal.

Now that Anri has calmed down, it’s time to go home.

While hugging Anri, I turned my gaze toward the station.

I saw one of our schoolmates at a little distance from the train station. That’s unusual at this time of the day.

And the next moment, I thought my heart would stop.

The student was Ayane Sugimoto.

Why is she here at this hour? Oh, right, because he left later than us!

Oh shit! I was so careless!

Sugimoto is looking at me from far away.

She can probably tell that it’s me from a distance.

What about Anri? Hiding behind my arm, is she unrecognizable as Anri?

No, we were together just now. It’s safe to assume that I’ve been caught.

Oh no, I’ve done it.

While I was thinking about that, Sugimoto ran toward the station.

Anri didn’t notice.

I think only Sugimoto and I recognized each other.

What to do? How do we clear up the misunderstanding?

Hmm? It’s not a misunderstanding, is it?

I and Anri are in a relationship. Can’t I just say, “We’re in a relationship!” and that’s the end of it?

It’s not going to be that easy…

If I get a message from Sugimoto tonight, I’ll talk to Anri about it.

I am sure we will have to talk to each other about our future school life…


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